As a child, Darren excelled both in the classroom and on the playing field.
However, his disruptive behaviour continued to be a problem resulting in his exclusion from school.
He managed to turn his life around, first going to University to study Maths, then on to work for a leading IT company. But all along, sport was in his DNA.
He made his debut for the England blind football team in 1996, became captain in 2002, and helped the team qualify a place at the Athens Paralympic Games in 2004.
However, they were barred from taking part, as the other Home Nations besides England, wouldn’t sanction a Great Britain team to play.
Fed up of being kicked around like a political football, and already owning a black belt in judo, he quit his job, switched sports and began training full-time.
He competed at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008.
But plagued by injury leading up to the World Championships in 2010 and World Games in 2011, he finished Judo and returned to football to play at the London Paralympic Games in 2012.
Over the past decade, he has inspired thousands of young people through his work on various programmes with organisations such as the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Sports for Schools and Sport England amongst others.